1. Pianist Omar Sosa, kora player Sekou Keita, & incredible percussionist Gustavo Osvalles put on a great show at the Carrboro Arts Center Tuesday night: Having listened to their "Transparent Water" CD on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAA3IxB55rk&t=172s), I expected mellow music. Wrong! But also right: they upped the tempo, improvised enthusiastically, danced, & turned the show delightfully upside-down for me. I hope YouTube has such live shows from their tour soon...
2. Yeaux Katz is still the best jazz bar band in Carrboro: Yeah, I know it's the only such band in Carrboro, but that don't matter. They play jazz standards enthusiastically, they've gotten tighter, &--unlike many such local venues--they now have a weekly audience. It's a fun Carrboro thing...
3. Young guitarist & NCCU grad student Devin Frazier is worth hearing: I'd only heard him in a limited role in the NCCU big band, but when he noted having studied at ECU with Scott Sawyer, I said "aha!" He left a lot of room for nominal sideman saxist Dave Finucane--to the point where it almost seemed like Dave's gig--but that worked out well: Dave was fabulous & the gig left me wanting to hear Devin expand into more soloing. Thus, I want to hear more of him (& you should too)...
4. Guitarist & musical mollusk Brad Maiani's back at the West End Wine Bar every last Sunday of the month:
Gratefully, the WEWB decided to bring him back on a limited but regular basis. Another chance for a relatively private concert of good jazz.
This Week: With basketball pretty much out of the way of jazz gigs (except maybe next Monday night), there's a fuller schedule this week than the last two.
Sunday: Before Brad Maiani plays I'll go to the Hayti Center to hear new (I think) local vocalist Nikki Rivers do a Sarah Vaughn tribute at 3p. I'm going partly to check out her singing.
Monday: Grewen & Griffin do instrumental & vocal standards at Imbibe 7p, while the trad jazz Second Line Stompers encourage dancing at the Pittsboro Roadhouse 7:30p.
Tuesday: The NC Jazz Repertory Orchestra (NCJRO) fills the Sharp Nine with big band arrangements from Back Then til Just Now--& usually sells out the place.
Wednesday: Five gigs on a Wednesday, believe it or not!
- There's competition at 7p: bassist James Suter plus a local guitarist at Durham's Bar Virgile, & Yeaux Katz living up to their jazz bar band status at Carrboro's 2nd Wind.
- More competition at 8:30p: Guitarist James Gilmore does his free jazz thing at Durham's Pinhook, while in Raleigh the Sidecar Social Club does its roadhouse jazz thing at Humble Pie.
- The Jazz At the Mary Lou at Duke continues humming (or throbbing) along at 930p.
Thursday: Only three gigs...
- Our eminent local Latin orchestra, the Orchesta Gardel plays at UNC's Center for the Study of the American South (CSAS)--aka the interestingly named Love House--at 5:30p. It will be warm enough to sit on that lawn!
- Al Strong's quartet leads into an art lecture re trumpeter Buddy Bolden at Duke's Nasher Museum 5:30p.
- Ernest Turner leads his jazz jam at Imbibe 8p.
Friday: Not even counting the Piedmont Triad Jazz Orchestra playing Wayne Shorter at Greensboro's Carolina Theater at 7p, there are eight gigs to choose among!
- At 5:30p the NCMA Iris Restaurant presents the Peter Lamb trio (note: Peter's website hasn't this listed).
- At 6:30 pianist/singer Lydia Sallett Dudley leads a jazz jam at Raleigh's Aloft Hotel.
- At 6:30 veteran local pianist Elmer Gibson plays at Irregardless.
- At 7p jazzy blues guitarist Calvin Edwards makes a regular stop at Beyu.
- At 8p Charlotte-based pianist Lovell Bradford returns to Sharp Nine with a quartet.
- At 9p saxist Brian Miller cuts through the chatter at C Grace.
- At 9p pianist Zach Gossett plays more quietly upstairs at the Empress Room.
- At 9:30p the usual Latin jazz appears at Cuban Revolution.
Saturday: Easier choices...
- Pianist Gary Brunotte at Irregardless 6p.
- Sidecar Social Club fits nicely into the cocktail bar that is C Grace 9:30p
- Pianist Frank Longino & singer Angela Bingham bring old & new jazz standards to the Empress Room 9:30
- Cuban Revolution, as above.